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Advances in screening and diagnosis of TB
S38 Community-based evaluation of immigrant TB screening using interferon Gamma release assays and tuberculin skin testing: yields and cost-effectiveness
  1. M Pareek1,
  2. M Bond2,
  3. J Shorey2,
  4. S Seneviratne3,
  5. A Lalvani1,
  6. O M Kon2
  1. 1Tuberculosis Research Unit, Imperial College London, London, UK
  2. 2Tuberculosis Service, Chest and Allergy Clinic, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  3. 3Clinical Immunology, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK


Background Tuberculosis (TB) notifications in the UK continue to rise due to disease in the foreign-born immigrant population. UK guidelines on immigrant screening have recently been revised but accurate calculation of cost-effectiveness is hampered by a lack of empiric data on the comparative performance of tuberculin skin test (TST) and interferon-γ release-assays (IGRA) in immigrants arriving from countries with varying TB incidence.

Methods Prospective evaluation of TST and two commercially available IGRAs (QuantiFERON Gold in-tube (QFN-GIT) and T-SPOT.TB) in recent immigrants aged =16 years to quantify test positivity, concordance and factors associated with a positive result for all three tests. We computed yields at different incidence thresholds and the relative cost-effectiveness, using a decision-analysis-model stratified by HIV/drug-resistance, of screening using different latent TB infection (LTBI) screening modalities at varying incidence thresholds supplemented with/without port-of-arrival chest radiography.

Results 231 immigrants included; median age 29 (IQR 24–37). TST accepted by 80.9%, read in 93.6%; 30.3% positive. QFN-GIT and T-SPOT.TB positive in 16.6% and 22.5% respectively. Positive TST, QFN-GIT and T-SPOT.TB independently associated with increasing TB incidence in immigrants' countries of origin (p=0.008, 0.007 and 0.01 respectively). Implementing current guidance (depending on test) would identify 98%–100% of LTBI but also require 97%–99% of the immigrant cohort to be tested; raising the threshold to 150/100 000 (includes immigrants from Indian Subcontinent) would identify 49%–71% of LTBI but require half the cohort to be screened. The three most cost-effective screening strategies (which were more cost-effective than current guidance) were: no CXR at port-of-entry and screen with single-step QFN-GIT at 250/100 000 (Incremental cost-effective ratio (ICER) £21 565.3/per case averted), no CXR at port-of-entry and screen with single-step QFN-GIT at 150/100 000 (averted additional 7.8 cases of active TB, ICER of £31 867.1/per case averted) and no CXR at port-of-entry and screen with single-step QFN-GIT at 40/100 000 which averted a further 9.4 cases (ICER £34 753.5/per case averted).

Conclusions Immigrant screening in the UK could cost-effectively and safely eliminate mandatory CXR on arrival by emphasising systematic screening for LTBI with single-step IGRA. An intermediate incidence threshold for screening balances the need to identify as much imported LTBI as possible against limited service capacity.

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